PBA: Castro remains focused on championship after nabbing 5th BPC

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2019 12:00 AM

PBA: Castro remains focused on championship after nabbing 5th BPC 1
TNT guard Jayson Castro puts up a floater against San Miguel Beer. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA - As pleased as he was to have gotten a fifth Best Player of the Conference award, TNT veteran Jayson Castro remains focused on their bigger goal in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

Castro beat San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo, rookies Robert Bolick of NorthPort, Ray Parks of Blackwater, and CJ Perez of Columbian Dyip for the top individual award in the conference -- the first time he had been named BPC since the 2016 Governors' Cup.

"Sobrang siyempre masaya ako," said Castro of the honor, which allowed him to tie San Miguel icon Danny Ildefonso in the all-time list, while also expressing his gratitude to those who voted for him.

"Pero siyempre, 'yung No. 1 goal namin din is 'yun nga, makuha 'yung championship," he added. "Kasi, ang tagal na naming 'di nagcha-champion. Sila, lagi namang nagcha-champion."

Castro received his BPC award ahead of Game 4 of their Finals against series, but the night did not go as the KaTropa had envisioned. The Beermen hacked out a 106-101 triumph to knot the best-of-7 series at two games apiece, despite a 32-point outing from TNT import Terrence Jones and a 17-point, 8-rebound, 8-assist night from Castro.

The third quarter proved pivotal, as San Miguel outscored TNT 31-17 in the period behind a combined 20 points from Fajardo and import Chris McCullough. The KaTropa trailed, 82-69, heading into the final frame.

They would get to within two points late, but Fajardo nailed a clutch bucket with 27 seconds left, before Castro himself committed a turnover in the next possession that allowed San Miguel to ice the game.

"Start ng fourth quarter, ang laki na naman ng hinabol namin," Castro lamented. "For us to win, dapat 'di kami naghahabol. Dapat, andoon lang kami."

"And then, noong start ng third quarter, sobrang sama ng execution namin. Sana, sa susunod na game, maging maganda rin 'yung start namin," he added.

Castro emphasized that they must be locked in defensively right from the start of the game, and take it from there.

"'Yung offense, kapag maganda 'yung depensa namin, 'yung offense napakadali sa amin eh," he explained. "Pero kapag nag-start kami nang flat, pati 'yung offense namin, naapektuhan."

"'Yun nga, focus sa defense muna talaga."

Game 5 of the series is on Wednesday, still at the Araneta Coliseum.